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Cairns Law Clearwater Divorce Lawyer
  • 5 stars based on 36 reviews
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  • Mon - Fri 8:30 am- 5:00 pm Evening and Weekend Appts Available
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  • 801 West Bay Drive, Suite 713, Largo, FL 33770

Clearwater Child Custody Lawyer

If you are a parent going through divorce, a break up, or have recently learned about your paternity as a father, you have an important decision ahead of you that may or may not be your decision to make. This life changing decision is that of child custody, and it is left in the hands of a judge when you and the other parent cannot come to an agreement on your own, through mediation, or other forms of negotiation. An experienced Clearwater child custody lawyer will work in your corner, pursuing all avenues to achieve your desired custody or visitation rights.

Types of Child Custody in Florida

Child custody matters, or parental responsibilities, are not always divided equally. There are four different scenarios that a couple that is divorcing or two non-married parents face during a custody decision or court judgement: 

  • Joint Physical Custody: Physical custody describes where the child lives. Shared physical custody may be split 50/50 or it may entail some other variation; such as the child spending the weekends with one of their parents and the weekdays with the other;
  • Sole Physical Custody: The child only lives with one parent. Legal custody may or may not be joint;
  • Bird Nesting: Bird nesting, or just nesting, works by leaving the children in the primary home while the parents come and go separately throughout the week. According to Psychology Today, bird nesting is meant to be easier on children, who are less equipped to deal with disruption and stress, and put the brunt of the inconvenience and stress on the parents, who are better equipped emotionally;
  • Joint Legal Custody: Joint legal custody gives both parents equal rights when it comes to parenting decisions, such as education, where the child lives, healthcare, and more;
  • Sole Legal Custody: Only one parent can make legal parenting decisions;
  • Visitation Rights: The parent without any legal custody is given visitation rights, which cannot be interrupted or stopped by the parent with sole legal custody.

How an Attorney Can Help

While most custody decisions are made in mutual agreement between the two parents, it is not always that simple and easy. Custody disputes can quickly grow into the ugliest battles, during which parents will go to great lengths to tarnish or downright soil the reputation of the other. During such custody disagreements, it is extremely important for you to remain as calm as possible to not only help yourself and your child deal with the stress, but to prove to the court that you are the level headed, rational person that you are. Because when it comes down to it, the court will make its decision in the best interest of the child, as per statute 61.13—and in cases where majority or full custody is awarded, it is to the parent who is best able to show their caring and responsible nature.

Contact a Clearwater Child Custody Lawyer

A Clearwater child custody attorney will coach you through this process, and will look out for your best interests throughout this ordeal, showing the court how you have been a primary caretaker, financial and emotional provider, an educator, and a stable, beneficial aspect of your child’s life. Call Cairns Law today at 727-683-1472.

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